Welcome back to another Ask Me Anything, a weekly series where we talk to our friends, our viewers, and our community about all of their pressing needs, questions, wants, and desires.

Let’s take a look at the mailbag to see which questions are burning this week.

Here’s a good one:

What are your best practices for allotting reasonable time for proactive PR, when maintenance and reactive work suck up all of your time?

Allotting Time for Proactive PR

This is such a great question—and something we ALL struggle with. I’m fierce about this kind of work and I allow myself to get sucked into being reactive sometimes.

It’s such a common thing that we all struggle with that Chip Griffin and I cover it on an upcoming episode of the Agency Leadership podcast.

So you will get more than a couple of minutes on it if you listen to that when it’s published.

But my advice on this is exactly what I would advise an agency owner, which is to block the time.

I know how hard this is to do—and I know how hard it is to protect your time with a client or your boss or a colleague says, “Hey, the only time I can meet is on Thursday at 10:00 a.m.” And you have that time block for proactive time.

But you have to be able to push back and say you aren’t available.

Chip has a great way of thinking about this. He says you have to have the mindset that the time is blocked and you’re not available, just like it would be if it were a client or team meeting.

You would have no problem telling someone you couldn’t meet with them on Thursday at 10 a.m. if you were already booked for one of those reasons.

Your proactive time is as important as any of those other meetings—maybe even more important if you are to get things done and accomplish your goals.

Whether it’s blocked so you can be proactive or to do business development or to write or to do deep work, you have to be OK with the fact that telling them no helps everyone.

Be fierce about protecting that time.

When you’re always reacting or maintaining or even distracted by email and text messages and Slack and social media, it’s impossible to get anything done.

I started doing this a few years ago and I started slowly. First it was a two-hour block, once a week.

Then I realized how much more productive I was during that time and moved it to half a day. That made me accomplish more in four hours than I did all week so I moved it to a full day.

And I protect it with my life. In fact, when I don’t protect it (I’m human!), I pay for it by having to work over the weekend.

So if you want time with me on a Friday, forget about it. It’s not happening!

And that, my dear friends, is the advice I give to all of my agency owner clients: block the time.

Benita’s Olympic Diary

One other thing I want to tell you that has nothing to do with the question of the week is about Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, the 1984 Gold Medalist for hurdles.

She is on the executive leadership team for a client of ours and my personal job is to help her (and the other execs) build her thought leadership.

About a month ago, we were in a meeting and she mentioned that when she was training for the 1988 Olympics, she did a weekly diary for the Austin American-Statesman.

They called it Benita’s Olympic Diary and she published it every Monday.

Well, you can imagine we jumped on that idea!

Every day, since the Olympics began last week, she provides commentary about what’s happening for the athletes on that particular day—a sort of behind-the-scenes look.

Yesterday she posted about the immense amount of pressure today’s athletes are under. Not only did they train in isolation a year leading up to these Games, they also had to deal with a global pandemic and a social justice movement, and all that came along with that. AND they have to deal with social media on top of it all.

She was telling me the other day that all she had to do was worry about going to a news conference once a day and not flubbing up an answer to a reporter. She said the only time the athletes saw themselves was on the evening news. There was no social media. There was no bullhorn. People didn’t have opinions they were posting everywhere. The athletes were able to focus on their sport and what they were there to do.

I’ve been sharing her posts every day on my personal LinkedIn page, if you’d like to follow along.

I’m not saying that because she’s a client. Sure, I’d love for you to follow all of our clients, but this particular project is special and I could not be more proud to even be in the same orbit as her.

Have a Question For Us?

I hope you’ll watch this week’s video because there are some tidbits and color commentary in it that I didn’t include here.

They’re personal, not business-related, but kind of funny.

And…if you have a question for a future AMA you can drop them below or join us in the (free) Spin Sucks Community.

You can also find us on social media, email us, or stop by with a bottle of wine for porch drinking.

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

View all posts by Gini Dietrich